The use of COCs may change the results of some laboratory tests, such as coagulation factors, lipids, glucose tolerance, and binding proteins. Women on thyroid hormone replacement therapy may need increased doses of thyroid hormone because serum concentrations of thyroid-binding globulin increase with use of COCs [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].
DRSP causes an increase in plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone induced by its mild anti-mineralocorticoid activity.
A woman who is taking COCs should have a yearly visit with her healthcare provider for a blood pressure check and for other indicated healthcare.
In women with hereditary angioedema, exogenous estrogens may induce or exacerbate symptoms of angioedema. Chloasma may occasionally occur, especially in women with a history of chloasma gravidarum. Women with a tendency to chloasma should avoid exposure to the sun or ultraviolet radiation while taking COCs.
The following serious adverse reactions with the use of COCs are discussed elsewhere in the labeling:
- Serious cardiovascular events and stroke [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Vascular events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Liver disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
Adverse reactions commonly reported by COC users are:
- Irregular uterine bleeding
- Breast tenderness
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, the adverse reaction rates observed cannot be directly compared to rates in other clinical trials and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
The data provided reflect the experience with the use of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol tablets (3 mg DRSP/0.03 mg EE) in the adequate and well-controlled studies for contraception (N=2,837). The US pivotal clinical study (N=326) was a multicenter, open-label trial in healthy women aged 18 to 35 who were treated for up to 13 cycles. The second pivotal study (N=442) was a multicenter, randomized, open-label comparative European study of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol tablets vs. 0.150 mg desogestrel/0.03 mg EE conducted in healthy women aged 17 to 40 who were treated for up to 26 cycles.
The most common adverse reactions (≥ 2% of users) were: premenstrual syndrome (13.2%), headache/migraine (10.7%), breast pain/tenderness/discomfort (8.3%), nausea/vomiting (4.5%) abdominal pain/discomfort/tenderness (2.3%) and mood changes (depression, depressed mood, irritability, mood swings, mood altered and affect lability (2.3%).
Of 2,837 women, 6.7% discontinued from the clinical trials due to an adverse reaction; the most frequent adverse reaction leading to discontinuation was headache/migraine (1.5%).
Depression, pulmonary embolism, toxic skin eruption, and uterine leiomyoma.
Five studies that compared breast cancer risk between ever-users (current or past use) of COCs and never-users of COCs reported no association between ever use of COCs and breast cancer risk, with effect estimates ranging from 0.90 to 1.12 (Figure 3).
Three studies compared breast cancer risk between current or recent COC users (<6 months since last use) and never users of COCs (Figure 3). One of these studies reported no association between breast cancer risk and COC use. The other two studies found an increased relative risk of 1.19 to 1.33 with current or recent use. Both of these studies found an increased risk of breast cancer with current use of longer duration, with relative risks ranging from 1.03 with less than one year of COC use to approximately 1.4 with more than 8 to 10 years of COC use.
Figure 3: Relative Studies of Risk of Breast Cancer with Combined Oral Contraceptives
RR = relative risk; OR = odds ratio; HR = hazard ratio. “ever COC” are females with current or past COC use; “never COC use” are females that never used COCs.
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol tablets. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Adverse reactions, including fatalities, are grouped into System Organ Classes and ordered by frequency.
Vascular disorders: Venous and arterial thromboembolic events (including pulmonary emboli, deep vein thrombosis, intracardiac thrombosis, intracranial venous sinus thrombosis, sagittal sinus thrombosis, retinal vein occlusion, myocardial infarction and stroke), hypertension
Hepatobiliary disorders: Gallbladder disease
Immune system disorders: Hypersensitivity
Metabolism and nutrition disorders: Hyperkalemia
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: Chloasma
Consult the labeling of all concurrently-used drugs to obtain further information about interactions with hormonal contraceptives or the potential for enzyme alterations.
Substances diminishing the efficacy of COCs: Drugs or herbal products that induce certain enzymes, including cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), may decrease the effectiveness of COCs or increase breakthrough bleeding. Some drugs or herbal products that may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives include phenytoin, barbiturates, carbamazepine, bosentan, felbamate, griseofulvin, oxcarbazepine, rifampin, topiramate and products containing St. John’s wort. Interactions between oral contraceptives and other drugs may lead to breakthrough bleeding and/or contraceptive failure. Counsel women to use an alternative method of contraception or a back-up method when enzyme inducers are used with COCs, and to continue back-up contraception for 28 days after discontinuing the enzyme inducer to ensure contraceptive reliability.
Substances increasing the plasma concentrations of COCs: Co-administration of atorvastatin and certain COCs containing EE increase AUC values for EE by approximately 20%. Ascorbic acid and acetaminophen may increase plasma EE concentrations, possibly by inhibition of conjugation.
Concomitant administration of moderate or strong CYP3A4 inhibitors such as azole antifungals (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, fluconazole), verapamil, macrolides (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin), diltiazem, and grapefruit juice can increase the plasma concentrations of the estrogen or the progestin or both. In a clinical drug-drug interaction study conducted in premenopausal women, once daily co-administration of DRSP 3 mg/EE 0.02 mg containing tablets with strong CYP3A4 inhibitor, ketoconazole 200 mg twice daily for 10 days resulted in a moderate increase of DRSP systemic exposure. The exposure of EE was increased mildly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/Hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors: Significant changes (increase or decrease) in the plasma concentrations of estrogen and progestin have been noted in some cases of co-administration with HIV/HCV protease inhibitors or with non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
Antibiotics: There have been reports of pregnancy while taking hormonal contraceptives and antibiotics, but clinical pharmacokinetic studies have not shown consistent effects of antibiotics on plasma concentrations of synthetic steroids.
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